Sunday, July 27, 2008

Summer Daze, bentos to the rescue!

Ok we had a 2 week intermission, not my fault mind you :). With all of my wife's work craziness and the travel we decided to put off last week's bento to this week. (Course I had already made half of it.) I continue this week on the fruit theme, the heat here is abysmal and I can't fathom eating anything on the heavy side.

Easy peasy, we start with a basic salad and a pear balsamic vinaigrette. Nothing fancy here, I needed to fill the space, and I had bagged salad from last week's bento to use up.

We head to our soup course: we have a chilled Melon Ginger Soup. The recipe is courtesy of a local restaurant, "The East side Cafe", they pride themselves on an organic menu from a local farm they own and run themselves. I didn't get to taste the soup after the ginger got a chance to really sink in, but from the hint I got I'm sure the soup will be very good in the morning. Chopped cantelope, watermelon, and honeydew to give it texture and a bit of ginger to give it a zip.

This side is from watching foodtv: Onion and Goat cheese tartlet. My wife swooned as she saw this so I really had no choice but to make it. It's a very simple recipe, you basically use a puff pastry shell and fill it with a custard, top it all off with a cube of goat cheese, voila you have a nice appetizer. This was actually an easy side to churn out, I'll be using it as a party appetizer in the future.

Finally we come to the entree: Basic pork tenderloin here, topped it off with a blueberry sauce. I decided a nice drizzel of the red wine I had on-hand to deglaze the pan would give the sauce a nice umph that it would not have otherwise had. I think it was a good choice, it added a bit of flavor complexity that spikes up the pork (I had only used salt and pepper when I cooked the tenderloin)

It does feel really good to get a chance to cook again. I hope to continue regularly so please stay tuned. Thank you to the loyal readers that come to peruse the blog. I still welcome suggestions, please send them over.

Box Contents
  • Salad with pear balsamic vinaigrette dressing
  • Ginger melon Soup
  • Onion and Goat Cheese Tartlets
  • Pork Tenderloin and Red Wine blueberry reduction

Monday, July 14, 2008

Summer Lite

I'm back! I think life has settled a bit to allow me to return to some bento-ing. Today's bento started with some inspiration from my recent cruise vacation. My wife loved the various fruit based cold soups we had and wanted to share to yummy goodness. This spawned the idea of a light summer menu, nothing too flashy here just a nice respite from the harsh summer heat.

We start off with a Cream of Strawberry soup. Very simple and delicious soup with a hint of sweetness. It's made as a copycat of the soup we had on board the ship. (they had other flavors too like blueberry, melon etc). I can only describe it like a less sweet lighter version of melted strawberry icecream. I know weird huh?

The main entree was a baja fish taco/wrap. Self assembly required on this one some folks like a lot of green some folks don't. I used sable cod here a nice flaky white fish with a wonderful soft texture. I would have saved half the money by going with normal cod, but at the time there was none on hand. I'll say it was a happy accident, Sable cod yielded a really nice soft buttery texture that normal cod does not. Maybe some of my eaters will notice. I made a simple spicy cilantro mayo to go with the taco (it's pictured in the box up top)

A nice jicama slaw to round out the sides. Something crunchy to balance the soup. This was actually a pretty interesting recipe, it added cumin for some smokey flavor, I splashed in some sesame oil to bring in some nice aroma (and to add my own signature to the dish). A surprisingly easy to make but complexly flavored dish. My kudos to the original recipe author (whoever you are)

I originally had intended dessert to be a simple fruit salad. But I couldn't pass up the opportunity to make one of my wife's favorites: Prosciutto wrapped figs. I'm a pretty big fan of these too, it's got a lot of those nice contradictions that make it fun to eat. It's salty from the ham, but sweet from the honey and fig. It's soft from the fig yet a bit crispy from prosciutto. Anyhow figs are in season so what better way to celebrate.

I had a good time making the bento, it's good to get back into the regular pace of things. I hope to start back on a weekly schedule, we'll see if that happens

Box Contents
  • Spiced cod with baja sauce (tortilla's not pictured)
  • Jicama slaw
  • misc greens to fill the taco
  • Honey glazed prosciutto wrapped figs
  • Cream of Strawberry soup
Edit: oops for got my tags